Well it has finally happened. I’ve successfully avoid it for the last 8 years and I thought that there was no way that I would ever go down this path. I think I’ve even said that to do what I have now done is a backwards step in the evolution of bookselling. I’ve always thought that this was something Luddites cling to in the belief that bookselling is one thing and one thing only… which I still firmly believe it isn’t. Even though this all began more than 2 months ago, I haven’t written about it here as I haven’t really known what to write or even how to explain what I have done. To sum it up, I have been avoiding this blog entry. So here it is.
Yes ladies and gentlemen, I have opened my own shop. OK… I can hear you all gasping in disbelief. Actually I haven’t opened my own shop, but I have started to sell books a little more seriously, just around the corner from my place of abode* in someone elses shop. The deal is that I run the shop and half the stock on the shelves is mine. In other words, it’s not a partnership. It’s 2 booksellers (actually 4, but 2 have only minimal stock, so for the sake of this blog, I’ll say 2) selling from the one location. The whole thing of not being in a partnership is something that is very important to me… it’s long and complicated why this is important, but lets just say it is. For the last 2 months we’ve been open every Saturday and Sunday, this is about to change and we are going to be open some Saturdays and every Sunday… and also by appointment… and yes, it is me manning the fort.
I have a few years of retail experience behind me**, so retail is not something totally alien to me. What is new is that it’s just me working for me… and selling someone elses books as well. So far it’s meandering along but so has the town during this quiet time of the year. This area of Victoria is a little busier during Autumn and Spring so hopefully book buyers will be flocking here soon. In Summer everyone’s down the beach (we don’t have beach) and in Winter everyone’s keeping warm (we don’t have warm), which all adds up to no flocking book buyers.
Here’s a picture of the shop:
And here's a close up of the window display:
Notice that there is no signage and that there’s no name associated with the shop. Signage is on its way (soon) and re a name, well ummmm… it wont be Huc & Gabet... i'm still Huc & Gabet, but the shop wont be. And yes it is small… but it is packed full of quality books of interest… and yes those are Stephen King titles in the window.
*Commuting time is approx 40 seconds.
**Approx 25 years.